- On Tuesday, Senator Bernie Sanders announced he is running for President again.
- On the latest episode of “Business Insider Today” on Facebook Watch, INSIDER CEO Henry Blodget highlights three big challenges the Democrats will face.
- Democrats will need to explain how they’re going to pay for new healthcare services, avoid a “socialist” label, and avoid the “Bernie or bust” devotion that helped elect President Trump.
Bernie Sanders is running for President again!
The Senator from Vermont joins an increasingly crowded field of Democratic candidates.
Millions of Americans likely agree with Sanders’ assertion that President Trump is an “embarrassment” to the country. Sanders’ proposed policies — anchored by basic healthcare for all— have also gained a lot of support in recent years.
But Sanders’ entry into the race highlights three big challenges the Democrats will face as they seek to persuade America to fire President Trump.
First, the Democrats will likely need to explain how they’re going to pay for all the new services most of them want to provide — such as basic healthcare for all, subsidized child care, and some form of a “Green New Deal.”
The US fiscal deficit— the amount government spending exceeds tax revenue — has exploded in the past year. The Republican President and his party have certainly avoided consequences from it. And some Democrats are already arguing that the deficit is irrelevant.
But many Americans do worry about the deficit, so the Democrats will likely have to offer some explanation of where the money will come from. Polls also suggest Americans lose enthusiasm for new services quickly when they learn how much they’ll make their taxes go up
Second, Democrats will have to avoid getting slapped with the “socialist” label.
No mainstream Democrat supports full-blown socialism, in which the government owns and provides everything. But Sanders and other Democrats have previously described themselves as “Democratic Socialists.” And President Trump is already campaigning on the claim that the Democrats want to turn America into Venezuela. So the Democrats will need to work hard to make clear that what they’re advocating is not, in fact, socialism.
Lastly, the Democrats will have to avoid the “Bernie or bust” devotion to a particular candidate that led many young voters to stay home back in 2016. Once Sanders lost the 2016 primary to Hillary Clinton, many Sanders supporters boycotted or lost interest in the election. Their decision to abstain from voting helped hand the election to Mr. Trump.
This time, Democrats will have to unite in their common mission of defeating President Trump.
This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.